We all read the tragic story of the preacher who had used snakes as a part of his church service to prove that he had power over snakes. While dealing with a snake during one of his services, the snake bit him and he died. Poisonous snakebites are more than likely fatal, but we learn from Paul that we can survive the poisonous venom of the spiritual snakes that come to kill us.
After Paul and his crew had survived a tumultuous shipwreck, they found themselves on an island. We learn that the natives of the island were nice and provided care for Paul and his shipwrecked buddies. While kindling a fire, a ‘viper’ came out of the bush and bit Paul. In fact, the snake wrapped itself around Paul’s arm. “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand,” Acts 28:3. This was no ordinary snake, as the snake came out of nowhere and bit Paul. The heat drawing the snake out of the bushes was not the heat from the fire. It was the heat and power of Paul’s anointing.
When a person has anointing and destiny over his or her life, that person can expect to be bitten by a snake. When we have a calling to do something remarkable within the Kingdom of God, to minister to the souls of God’s people and have opened ourselves up for this purpose, we can expect for some poisonous situations to arise in our pathways. This poison can infect the mind with poisonous thoughts. This poison can infect our hearts. If we do not do as Paul and shake the snake off, it can infect our entire spiritual nervous system—eventually leading to our deaths. But there is good news. Like Paul, we can survive the snakebite. When the snake bit Paul, the islanders thought he was a criminal. Note the snake did not target anyone, except Paul.
The truth is that in this life, it will feel like we are the only ones being bitten by the snake—like the snake only sees us. Most of the time, the snake is not after other people because they have either already been poisoned to death or it is not their turn to be bitten by the snake. When the snake bit Paul, it locked itself on Paul’s arm. The snake’s intentions were clear—to kill Paul. The devil’s intentions are clear when dealing with us. Satan’s objective is to fasten himself around us. But we have to remember that no matter how tightly he wraps around us to get his fangs lodged into our skin, we can still shake him off. We do not have to allow the venom to go through our veins.
We can shake the devil off anything or any person or situation he fastens around us to poison our destiny and that which God has in store for us. We can shake off unhealthy relationships, depression, rejection, and other stuff that is filled with poisonous venom. After the natives shook the snake off, they watched him, believing that he would swell up and die. But to their surprise, he shook the snake off with no injury. Rather than thinking he was a criminal, they thought he was a god.
When the snake has bitten, people will wait for its victim to fall down and die. All we have to do is shake the snake off. We have power over the snake. What the devil does not know is that we have inoculated ourselves with something that makes us immune from the snakebite. We have been filled with the Holy Ghost and dipped in the blood of Jesus. This is why we can survive snakebite.